“Our Treasury and Too”: Highlights of the 2015 Spring Education Program
For nights of stars and feet that move to an
Iambic measure; all who clapped were linked,
The theatre is our treasury and too,
Our study, school-room, house where mercy is
Dispensed with justice.
Shakespeare has the mood
And draws the music from the dullest heart.”
–from A Performance of Henry V at Stratford-upon-Avon, by Elizabeth Jennings (PoetrySoup.com)
Inspired by poetry and drama, we highlight offerings that explore different ways of learning with theater as context.
Instructional offerings significantly include a theater workshop/pro bullying prevention performance by the New York City Children’s Theater, held in collaboration with TC’s student group, Future Child Advocates, with whom we have collaborated on anti-bullying and child abuse prevention initiatives. Through “Alice’s Story” and participation by first graders from the Teachers College Community School, we learn that “applied theater is a form of theater that seeks to emotionally engage and empower participants in exploring sensitive topics”. This play models the school environment and helps us pledge with “the power of [our] words to heal and to protect”, so that we can create classrooms where the standard is inclusion, acceptance, and kindness — and encourage kids to stand up for themselves and each other. Additional workshops address equally useful, though perhaps less emotionally-charged topics: academic integrity, research reboot, copyright, grants, alumni services, and biking in NYC.
Guest talks center on Critical Civic Education (pushing teachers to “mind the civic empowerment gap” and empower students); Educator as Advocate (empowering educators to fight for educational equity); and the Crisis of Leadership in Education (urging teachers to act on issues of governance). The Politics of Play, with Cheng Xueqin, invites us understand the value of unstructured, environmentally-based, and open-ended learning spaces, helping us look beyond early childhood. Can we envisage ladders, bamboo, wood, knots and fibers, benches, barrels, pipes, mats, tires, cubes, pots, clay, sand — attractive and challenging tools … enhanced by lighting and sound in the Fourth Floor’s “new learning theater”? We recognize the value of highly flexible and changing spaces that promote risk taking and greater ownership of education.
Conceptualizing new teaching and learning models, there are further examples set forth through art: New Learning Spaces, in particular, but also the Manhattanville Diptychs; YMEJ’s Youth, Multiliteracies and Educational Justice: [Un]final Projects; Susan Ruth Cohen’s Transformations of Text, and Selections from the Gottesman Libraries Historical Art Collections. We draw on the collective work of students and teachers — actors on different stages: there’s an urban setting; cast of court-involved youth against the backdrop of the juvenile justice system; and a unique plot of art-music-narrative interweaving the past, present, and future.
Book talks probe diverse subjects: motivation and change in treating addiction; higher education and the ladder of opportunity; youth activism and literacy; life journey; religion, ethics, and the American Dream. In his forthcoming book, A New Model of Man’s Conscious Development, Ted Dimon expands upon themes presented in Tuesday’s Neurodynamic Lunch Hour; the back, posture, muscles, throat, foot, hand, thumb, movement, and stress are but mere starting points for encouraging a highly holistic mind-and-body approach to our health and well-being.
Also open in approach, Transformations of Text starts with the Spaces of the City subgroup, Cities and Diversity TC-Humboldt Research Lab. Bi-weekly Berlin-New York Google hang-outs lead to creative encounters with visual art and the collaborative use of space: the Colorsong exhibition and workshop for the second graders of TC Community School; guest talks, real and virtual; and research resources, current, archival, and curricular. Indeed, we promote additional resources in support of Braille Literacy, Advocacy, TC Alumni, and Library Learning Environments. We see that we are all students, as learning unfolds in a connected process.
The Everett Café features timely newspaper displays, as theater plays out: Madam Butterfly Premiers, Ibsen’s Ghosts Opens in London, Birth and Death of William Shakespeare. Everett continues to host live musical performances and celebrates the end of term with, Char, a quintet whose “journey into music has allowed them to dig deeper into life’s many mysteries by giving them friends who see things in a new light”. (Enter new musicians: Shuhuhan Peng, Eun Song Kang, and Yan Carlos Colon Leon, who together with Lindsay Burstedt and Tim Perry, are inspired by the tutelage of TC Alumnus Victor Lin — also featured as a student musician).
The decade-long program of Socratic Conversations makes a curtain call, rounding off the Spring season with applause for rich dialogue on the timeless topics of love, wisdom, and spirituality. Also moderated by Ron Gross, the University Seminar on Innovation in Education invites Ursula Staudinger, to speak on wisdom; E. Tory Higgins, integrity; Eric Klinenberg, “going solo”; and Marc Brackett, emotional intelligence — with a consistently full house.
To wit, and, with all due reverence, we think to set the mood and draw our music from many a generous heart!
|Education Program Spring 2015||Offerings||Attendees|
Hollar Long View (Second Globe Theatre). 1642. Wikimedia Commons.
Will Kemp Elizabethan Clown Jig. 1600. Wikimedia Commons.